In a fit of patriotic zeal, one street and a small cul-de-sac in a Whanganui hillside suburb were erased from the maps.

It happened at the onset of World War I when both Krull St and Krull Lane on St John's Hill were expunged by the local council.

The street was originally named after Frederick Krull, the senior German Consul in New Zealand from 1861 to 1914.

He had arrived in Wellington in early 1859 and established a merchant business. In 1881 he moved to Whanganui and joined Freeman R Jackson in business.

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Even with the shift out the nation's capital, he kept his position as one of five German consuls in the country.

At the outbreak of World War I, New Zealand's Government closed the German consulates and it was particularly interested in archives from Krull's 50-year career as consul. It was thought those papers might contain the names of German army reservists living here.

The pressure told on Krull and he suffered a stroke and died in November 1914. His family maintained his premature death was a consequence of the war.

But with hostilities fuelling patriotic fervour, Whanganui's then borough council opted to remove the Krull St name and replace it with Oakland Ave, simply because of the oak trees growing along it.

Athol Kirk's book, Streets of Wanganui, records there was a second smaller access called Krull Lane which ran from the street to the Krull home.

That too changed, becoming Acton Place after the old Anglo-Saxon word Acton meaning Oaktown.